I haven't owned many games protected by Starforce, but I have never played any of them either because of problems with the DRM (nothing as catastrophic as yours, just the game refusing to install, launch, play, uninstall and what have you). I'm sure there are ways around it, but because of my rather enormous game library I have just settled on not buying more games burdened by Starforce and getting rid of the few that I bought in the past.
I agree with your approach towards installing games and in future before attempting to install any CD version of a game I will google "(game name) + Windows 7" before I attempt to even install it, and will probably have to do umpteen hours' worth of research before I can be sure that it is safe for me to attempt to install it. But why oh why should I have to do this and why, when it goes pear shaped, is it all supposedly my fault when it clearly isn't ?
It is absolutely INCREDIBLE that no-one can be held to account for this and that it supposedly all my (the gamer's) fault. I have complained before now about how corrupt this industry is in so many ways, and without understanding everything in detail like some people seem to do I always knew I was right anyway, but now that this has happened I know for sure. What is being done about this - nothing ? You have the same situation recurring : make your money, make sure you know how to exploit loopholes in the law and that you employ someone who's good at chicanery and then move on to the next "enterprise", leaving loads of angry people in your wake. In better times my problem (which is fairly minor in the grand scheme of things) would either not have even been possible or would have been crushed as soon as it had once raised its ugly head. So who's to blame then : Microsoft, Starforce or SimBin ? Or me ? It's me isn't it ?
Unfortunately this is the sad face of PC gaming that we have all been watching grow into a real cow over the last decade or so.
DRM is not there to be friendly, and since its introduction it has done nothing but screw with peoples machines. Early DRM would stop your CD burner working. Or like Pandora Tomorrow not work at all if your system did not match the exact quoted spec, not even a service pack into XP above the one written in. Put some games onto a machine without internet access and you cannot play. Some even eat up space on your hard drive for no good reason and the worst only allow installation to a certain location with limited online activation, and if you move them they will refuse to bloody work, (Sacred 2). So DRM crashing a machine really is no surprise.
DRM is the market trying to kill itself off so they can go play on the 'safe' consoles. It is not you, it really is them.
DRM is that really ugly girlfriend who threw tantrums when you did not pay her attention, and acted like a cow when you did.
Join everyone else here with the lovely, kind and gentle world of DRM free. It is fun, we have freedom and there is no calling at 6pm to make sure you really are driving home from work.